2014 has been a year of both triumphs and tribulations for us here at Ariel Rider Ebikes, especially for me and my brother. You see, we have been in the electric bike industry for a very long time, our team has a combined experience in the industry over 22 years. Last year when we launched our flagship brand Ariel Rider Ebikes, things went from 0 to AWESOME pretty quick. We got a lot of media coverage, amazing reviews from all around the world, tons of positive reviews in Japanese, Portuguese, German, any language that you could imagine. It was my daily joy to turn on my laptop in the mornings and check my google alerts to see where in the world we got a media coverage the night before. In a short few months we’ve reached to a distribution in 26 countries!

ariel rider ebikes - meet the team

Then a great tragedy hit home. On May 12th, 2014, my brother and I were just getting started to an early morning at the office when my phone rang. It was a call from back home saying our dad has passed away… Now I know that everyone values their family, however, our dad was and still is truly our role model. He was the one who said: “my only goal in life was to show you guys how small the world actually is”. He was the reason why we have lived/visited many countries, got amazing educations as engineers, and living abroad, having our own startup while constantly traveling around the world for our business. His contribution will never be forgotten neither will be underestimated both professionally & emotionally. I vividly remember, before we left our factory that day in order to head to the airport to attend my dad’s funeral, we were packing the orders for Singapore in tears and our hands were shaking so much so that we had to repack some of the boxes.

I will never forget this moment but, right after we buried our dad and arrived back home before everyone else did, we had to make a phone call to one of our dealers in New York, because some things were going wrong with his order, and he needed some sort of explanation. Soon after the funeral, we both got back on our feet and got back to work, this time working even harder to make our dad proud. However, things didn’t go as planned, many suppliers delayed their deliveries, causing us to delay many orders (especially this one big order from Dubai), some suppliers sent completely wrong parts or defected ones and many other obstacles and the worst part is a few other companies who actually copied our IP were starting sell better than we did. It was a moment of truth for us! We were either gonna continue producing the same thing in order to save the day, or we were gonna take the long route and change everything within our company!

With one goal in mind; making our dad proud, we opted for the long route. Stopped all of our operations immediately, changed our factory location to be able to keep a closer eye to our suppliers and changed many of our suppliers. Hired a great team of engineers and started from scratch. Unlike our previous approaches, while designing we didn’t start from the aesthetics of the ebikes this time. We made a list of things that a daily commuter needs, and another list on what hasn’t been done-but it’s so obvious that every commuter needs to have it on their bikes.

17 months after our dad passed away, we’re very proud to announce that we’ve finished our new line of ebikes for 2016. Each model has it’s unique character, much like it’s designers, as each model has a different creator.

I, for once, am a huge fan of C-Class, because I’ve designed it. It embodies everything that you’ll need during your daily commute; a coffee holder to begin with (any other caffeine addicts out there?). A bamboo front rack which took me 3 months to source from the right bamboo forest (a sustainable one), enormous rear-rack loading capacity (135kg), a second seat accessory to stop that awkward conversation with your significant other “oh, you take a taxi, I’ll bike back home” -seriously, this happened far more times that I’d like to admit, and a child seat accessory. As you’ll see everything is created on one piece of a line running in the middle of the frame, a wave shaped one, a sine-wave… That’s the spirit of the C-Class, no matter how many ups and downs you have during your day, C-Class is there to assist you. Oh, and before you ask; C stands for City.

Ariel Rider Ebikes - C-Class bamboo front rack with cup holder

That’s me actually holding the coffee cup

My brother, Berk is a fan of N-Class. It’s the continuation of our previous vintage model which we have been tweaking for the last 4 years. But this time he did an amazing job with tweaking it, so much so that, it’s a completely new bike with lots of engineering on it. -I secretly wish I thought of some of these innovations on this ebike-. First of all it’s pure muscle. When you look at it from the top, the curves of the side covers gives you that “muscle” feeling, and then that feeling grows as you start pedaling and feel the enormous torque of the motor. Second, it’s extremely robust, thanks to the innovative approach to fixing everything inside. I think, one of the best parts of this ebike is, the interchangeable side covers. They are made from extremely high quality plastic, so they don’t break easy (I already had a few small accidents with them, trust me, they don’t break easy), and you can change them according to the color you want with just a few easy screws! It still has that very laid back beach cruiser character, while it’s a reminiscent of the old cafe racers. Since we’ve spent the most time on this one as it’s our flagship model, we wanted to make everything perfect! After all, it carries our dad’s initial, that’s what N stands for. Because it’s a model that we know he would be extremely proud of. I must add, the engineering part of this particular model has been polished by the kind help of our Uncle’s company, which is a military level defense systems engineering company who happens to be one of the first companies in the world to invent Pilotless Helicopters for war zones.

Ariel Rider Ebikes - N-500 Premium Beige color in front of a coffee shop

Finally there’s our smaller kid; W-Class. He’s a creation of our team. They love the beach cruisers and can’t get enough of them. However, when we made that list I mentioned earlier, one thing they were all complaining about was the pricing side of electric cruiser bikes! So we let them get their creative juices flowing in order to create something affordable, convenient and great looking. With hydro-formed top tube, we’ve managed to get the great characteristics of a beach cruiser, – albeit a little costly I must add. W stands for West Coast by the way. As we know all our fans back in West Coast would love this model, it’s a tribute to them.

Ariel Rider Ebikes - W-500 Premium at a railroad yard black color

Our team of engineers worked hard on those obvious solutions which were not available in the market. Such as a real rear stop light. I mean, it’s something that every ebike should have, but you simply don’t have it around! The ones are only rear lights or even worse, just reflectors. Most of the fatal bike collusions are rear-end collusions! Cars or other vehicles simply cannot see if you’re slowing down or not! With some ingenious cable housing inside the rear mudguards, we were able to hide the cables and put rear stop lights to our ebikes.

Another change was to increase the torque of the motors, create a simply mind blowing torque sensor system which literally listens to your riding habits and acts accordingly on the spot, cell balancing chargers, incredible BMS (battery management system coding) and so on.

This time we worked with the elite of the industry, literally. Befriended them, shared  our goal and our vision with them. Asked for their help and support. I’ll never forget this one night last year: I had to attend to a new year’s banquet hosted by our Japanese motor supplier (who we weren’t cooperating yet at that time), where I was one of the only 3 global brand representatives who were invited to the banquet (mind you, there were 600 other people in the ballroom and I was at the “VIP” table). So it was the perfect opportunity for me to get closer to him and his factory culture. The night ended with many small victories, like; me getting off my face drunk in order not to refuse any drink “big boss” offers me (refusing a drink is actually a rude act in Japanese culture –  that and I saw that one guy who wasn’t drinking on our table was treated like he’s non-existent by others, fomo much?). Other small victories of the night were losing my phone (finding it from the cab company next day), inappropriate yet funny messages in my inbox from other industry leaders, or perhaps the pride of throwing up a few times out of the cab windows on my way back to the hotel and waking up next afternoon with my clothes (and glasses) on from the night before.

I was only going to write a few sentences about our new models and the new Ariel Rider Ebikes. turns out I had more to share!

Long story short, we are very proud to introduce you the all new Ariel Rider Ebikes. We take pride in what we do, and hope all of you find something that you love from our new line. I wanted to share that it’s not only a product that you’re seeing here. It’s a tribute to a great man, it’s the hard work of a talented great team, it’s the vision of 2 brothers to cherish ebikes as convenient and sustainable yet stylish modes of daily transportation!

Arda Onal

Feel free to comment or send me a mail directly (arda@arielrider.com).

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